Forward Scott Gomez will attend New Jersey Devils training camp on a tryout basis, the team said Thursday.
Gomez was New Jersey's first-round pick (No. 27) in the 1998 NHL Draft and was a member of the Devils' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2000 and 2003 before signing a seven-year contract with the New York Rangers worth $51.5 million in 2007.
"There were other opportunities and I had some other offers on the other side of it, in TV and stuff like that, but no," Gomez told Northjersey.com on Wednesday. "I've still got a lot to prove. I still want to play."
He was traded in 2009 to the Montreal Canadiens, who used a compliance buyout on his contract in 2013. Gomez, 34, played last season for the Florida Panthers, scoring two goals and 12 points in 46 games.
"For whatever reason, last year didn?t work out," Gomez said. "I had some other teams call, but we went to [general manager] Lou [Lamoriello] and I just said, ?Give me the opportunity to make the team.??? We talked, obviously, and he wanted to know where I was at and I just said, ???I want to come back. It???s still there. No one???s writing my script. I???ve got a lot to prove.???
"And he gave me the tryout and now it???s my job to make him keep me."
Gomez scored 19 goals and 70 points as a rookie with the Devils in 1999-2000 to win the Calder Trophy and ranks sixth in franchise history in assists (334) and points (450).
"Scotty and I met a couple of times and he still has the desire to play and he would like to try," Lamoriello told reporter Tom Gulitti. "I encouraged him that if that's what he'd like to do, he'd be given every opportunity."
The website also reported Lamoriello said the Devils are talking to defenseman Tomas Kaberle about attending training camp as a tryout.